District One Stresses
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.
The unions local leaders should recognize their responsibility
to recruit and develop new leadership from the shop floor, said District One Pres. Connie
Spinozzi in remarks that set the tone for the UE District One Council meeting here May
"Our job as leaders is not only to lead but to teach the importance
of unionism and its role today," Spinozzi declared. "Leadership must be active
and exercised at every local of a local."
Delegates participated in workshops and prepared for the upcoming UE
Mike Arrison, Local 155, praised the education provided by the National
union at the regional organizing schools concluded last month. "This is something
that everyone should go to," Arrison suggested, adding that he enjoyed home visits
the most. (Home visits are made by organizers to the homes of unorganized workers to talk
about the advantages of joining a union.)
The district council approved submission of two resolutions
"Organize the Unorganized" and "Build the Labor Party" to the
REAL POLITICAL CHOICE
UE Genl. Pres. John Hovis told delegates there is a genuine need for a
political alternative when less than 50 percent of the potential electorate registered to
vote and less than 60 percent of those registered bothering to vote. Is it really
democracy when such large numbers of Americans are so disillusioned? Hovis asked.
People dont vote because they dont see a choice, he said. The
Labor Party is that choice, the UE president asserted. Decades of corrupt politics as
usual must end, and we can it through the vote, through education and mobilization, Hovis
The union leader warned that deflation threatens workers with either
outsourcing or speedup, as employers try to overcome the effects of lower prices. Whether
the economy experiences inflation or deflation, workers are the victims of those in
control who are motivated by pure and simple greed.
HEALTH CARE & POLITICS
Delegates discussed how to build the Labor Party from the ground up in a
workshop on organizing Labor Party clubs led by Intl. Rep. Carol Lambiase.
The district council considered health-care bargaining strategies in a
workshop led by Intl. Rep. Bruce Klipple. Locals should actively shop for providers
themselves, counseled Klipple. Often employers come to the table with proposals on health
insurance involving unfamiliar providers. We have to go to these insurance companies and
make them understand they should deal with the union, Klipple said.
Delegates also discussed the scandal of 42 million Americans without
insurance, for-profit hospitals, mergers and spectacular pay increases for health company
District Pres. Spinozzi was elected to represent the district at the UE
National convention in August and at the Labor Party convention in November. The district
council elected Maken Dodge, Local 123 to the position of trustee made vacant by the
resignation of June Shirey, Local 124. The council recognized Shireys many years of
dedicated service to the union.